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Your Parental Rights in Indiana

The paternity of a child has a significant impact on legal issues such as child support, child custody, visitation, and the right to make decisions about a child’s future. At Emerson Divorce and Accident Injury Attorneys, L.L.C., we can take legal action to resolve paternity matters for both fathers and mothers.

How is Paternity Established in Indiana?

Paternity is fatherhood. In Indiana, a man is presumed to be the father of a child under specific circumstances:

  • The child was born during the term of the marriage.
  • The child was born no more than 300 days after a marriage ends.

When neither of these two facts is present, legal paternity is established by two methods:

  • Paternity Affidavit: A Paternity Affidavit is a legal document in which a man and woman declare that a man is the biological father of a child. These legal documents can be completed within 72 hours of the birth or at any time during the life of the child. Once the Paternity Affidavit is processed, the father’s name is put on the child’s birth certificate.
  • By Court Order: A parent (mother or father) can file a legal action in court, seeking to establish a child’s paternity. A hearing is scheduled, and if both parents agree, paternity can be established. If a father or mother is uncertain, genetic testing (DNA testing) can be ordered, which will prove whether the man is or is not the father of a child.

Why is Establishing Paternity a Critical Issue?

If the parents of a child are not married, it is vital to establish paternity so that the father gains the legal rights and responsibilities of parenthood. Financial support for a child from both parents is a critical matter, and establishing paternity makes it possible to seek child support from the father of the child.

Other important issues can come into play, such as medical insurance for a child, as well as gaining an understanding of any inherited medical conditions through the father’s family line.

Unfortunately, paternity fraud does occur, and establishing the paternity of a child with DNA testing can reveal whether this fraud occurred – even in cases in which both parents had signed a Paternity Affidavit.

What is a Paternity Suit?

This is a legal action to establish the paternity of a child, and it typically involves court-ordered DNA testing. A paternity suit can be filed within two years of the birth of a child, with some exceptions, and you will be required to pay the cost of the test.

Who can File a Paternity Suit?

In most cases, a paternity suit must be filed within two years of the birth of a child. The individuals who have can file a paternity suit include:

  • The mother, or a pregnant mother
  • A man who believes he may be the father of a child.
  • Both parents.
  • The child.
  • A prosecutor.

Paternity Rights Lawyer for Mothers and Fathers in Carmel

Both mothers and fathers may have reasons to establish or disprove paternity. A mother may be seeking child support from the child’s father, or a father may want the rights and responsibilities of fatherhood, including child custody, visitation, and support.

Whether you’re a mother or father, retaining a Carmel paternity lawyer is best in protecting the interest of you and your child. For experienced legal counsel in all paternity matters, our Marion County family law attorneys can initiate the correct paternity action to suit your circumstances, whether you are a mother seeking child support, a father who wants the rights and responsibilities of parenthood, in cases in which the father has passed away, or when a man is uncertain whether he is the biological father of a child.

Contact Emerson Divorce and Accident Injury Attorneys, L.L.C. at (317) 969-8000 for immediate assistance in paternity matters.